Huevos a la Benedictina
Anybody who's been within 50 yards of me in the last 18 months, will know that I have a border-line addiction to Eggs Benedict. There's only one food that I love more. Choooorrrriiiiiizzooooooo!
Erm. So I combined them? And gave them a fancy-shmancy Spanish name.
Despite my love for this gift from the gods, I've always been terrified of trying to make my own Hollandaise sauce. I'd heard horror stories of how easily the sauce splits, and general nightmares of that nature. The good news is... it's eeeeeasy!
This twist on the classic recipe is more or less true to the version in the MasterChef Kitchen Bible, with the exception of the chorizo addition, but you can pretty much guarantee there will be more experimentation to come!
4 large eggs
2 English Muffins
12 slices of chorizo
1tbsp White Wine Vinegar
2 egg yolks
60g melted butter
This will comfortably serve two for a classic breakfast, or an any-time snack. I've even had it as a light evening meal. Although, given my love for the dish, that's not really surprising...
1. So, the sauce that you've been too afraid to attempt (or is that just me?) is really really easy; start by heating the vinegar in a small pan, and let it bubble away until it reduces by half.
2. Remove from the heat, and add 1tbsp of water, before whisking in the egg yolks one at a time.
3. Return to a very low heat, and whisk continuously until it's thick and light.
4. Remove from the heat again, and gradually whisk in the melted butter.
5. Boil the kettle, and when it's done pour about 2 inches of water into the bottom of a new pan, on a moderate heat.
6. Stir the lemon juice into the sauce, but be careful here! The MasterChef recipe calls for the juice of quarter of a lemon, but when I first tried this indiscriminately, it completely over-whelmed the sauce. Add the lemon juice to taste, a little at a time.
7. Now that the sauce is done, you can crack on (yes, I did) with the eggs. When little bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan of water, gently crack the eggs into it.
8. After one minute, remove from the heat and set aside for exactly six minutes. This is without a doubt the simplest, most sure-fire method I've yet found to poach eggs.
9. During that six minutes, halve the muffins, and pop them under the grill to toast. Do both sides.
10. While they're under the grill, dry fry the chorizo slices. Although this type of chorizo is normally served cold, I love the way that frying it releases the flavour, and it also makes it easier to cut into when served. You don't want to over-do this, just enough to crisp it up a bit.
11. After about 5 minutes, lightly butter the muffins, and top them each with 3 slices of the chorizo. It's important that you remember to leave some over-hanging the edges... after all, if you're going to tweet what you eat, it's gotta look great ;-)
12. At that 6 minute stage, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, drain, and set one atop each muffin/chorizo tower of awe. Masterchef advised to drain them on kitchen roll first, but mine stuck :( Never doing that again!
13. Pour the Hollandaise over the eggs, and season to taste.
Morrison's won this week's competition quite comfortably. They were cheapest for almost every item (excluding only the eggs, for which they were actually 3rd!) Their £5.77 is very impressive compared to Tesco's 2nd place offering of £6.30.
Asda were a bit further off the pace again with a disappointing £6.95, but Sainsbury's, even although they came last as usual, equipped themselves better with £7.00.
To be fair, I expected a dish so deliciously decadent to also be more costly. Now the only excuse not to indulge is my waistline!
Everybody deserves a treat now and then, though, right? ;-)
Well the chorizo is the major tweak here. You can serve it without any meat at all, but unless you're a vegetarian, where's the fun in that? I've seen it offered most commonly with ham, but also bacon or smoked salmon. A little asparagus on the side wouldn't go wrong!
In-keeping with the Spanish theme, I seasoned one of the MasterChef-ruined-by-sticking-to-paper ones with a little Paprika. It didn't do much for the flavour (though certainly didn't harm it!) but it certainly did look the part!
For the veggies, why not try a slice of Halloumi instead of the meat? Maybe a portobello mushroom could be nice, but if you're going that far it may be better if the mushroom replaced the muffin entirely.
I'm not even going to attempt to make this one diet-friendly. This celebration is for when you want to cut loose!